Renata has been volunteering in Lort Smith’s cattery for five and a half years. She was inspired to volunteer because she didn’t have much disposable cash at the time but still wanted to contribute to an “awesome” not-for-profit.
“I also wanted to meet fellow animal-lovers and hang out with more cats. I adopted my cat on the proviso that he would be an only child, so volunteering is a way I get to spend time with more cats,” laughs Renata.
Renata chose to volunteer at Lort Smith because she respects our mission to provide exceptional veterinary care irrespective of a person’s circumstance. She also loves that it is a not-for-profit.
“A few friends had talked about how Lort Smith had treated their pets even when they didn’t have the money at the time to pay for emergency care,” remembers Renata.
A policy officer by profession, Renata describes Lort Smith’s volunteer induction process as comprehensive, and she feels well supported.
“The inductions have evolved since I started. It now has a more hands-on focus. The animal welfare officers are always there to help if you need – they are the best!” shares Renata.
Renata’s favourite part of her volunteering role is spending time with the animals and improving their stay while they prepare for, and await adoption.
“As nice as the enclosures are, it’s not the same as a home environment. Providing enrichment and spending time with the sad or scaredy cats, and watching their progress is really special.
“A few years ago there was a shelter cat named Midori. He was an eight month old fluffy tuxedo kitten who was surrendered from a farm. Midori bit everyone – he had real spirit! Over the few months he spent in the shelter, he gradually stopped biting and started to lick your hand instead – maybe he was apologising? Midori didn’t like being cuddled but Lyn, an animal welfare officer worked out something he did love… being rocked back and forth in a cat tunnel. He would actually jump into the tunnel and wait to be rocked! It was lovely to see him mellow and I wonder how he is going these days,” says Renata.
Renata thinks that people should consider volunteering if they have the luxury of spare time.
“Volunteering for an organisation that supports a cause you feel passionate about means you can contribute in a tiny way to make things a little more bearable for others (people, animals, the environment etc.),” shares Renata.
Renata your contribution to Lort Smith is far from tiny! We thank you, and the cats thank you, for sharing your valuable time with us.